Johnny Learns His Manners
- Publication date
- Public Domain
- Digitizing sponsor
AN ARTIST'S DRAWING BOARD SHOWS HOW A LITTLE BOY WHO IS UNTIDY, ILL-MANNERED, & SELFISH IS TURNED INTO A PIG UNTIL HIS "GOODSELF" CONQUERS HIS "BADSELF" MOSTLY UNANIMATED DRAWINGS, SHORT LIVE ACTION SEGMENT, "HUMAN DOMINO" WITH FOOTBALL PLAYERS.
Ken Smith checks in and sez: Much less than you'd expect. This film is nothing but a series of still, sketchy pencil drawings, one every five or ten seconds, shot with an optical printer. The story is fun: a little boy, obeying his evil conscience (and ignoring his good one), becomes increasingly ill-mannered and, as a consequence, slowly transforms into a pig. But a film of sketchy pencil stills? You might as well read a book.
The war between Johnny's "bad self" and "good self"
animation; cartoon drawn by a hand on the screen; simple line drawings;
child's messy room.
"Johnny's a terribly untidy little boy. Did you ever see such an untidy room? His mother has asked him so many times to hang up his clothes and put away his toys. And like all little boys, he had a good self who told him the things to do. And he knew he should hang up his pajamas."
Johnny's bad self says "Don't be a sissy."
the little boy gradually turns partly into a pig
he becomes a bad sport; an elaborate story of a boy who turns into a pig because he's afraid of being a sissy.
they eventually look at footage West Point Cadets;
barracks; shining their caps; Annapolis; Navy football; tackling; kicking a football training dummy; a whole line goes down; baseball playing ; stadium.
HUMAN DOMINOS FOOTBALL PLAYERS SPORTS DRAWINGS ANIMATION WEST POINT CADETS ANNAPOLIS CAUTIONARY MEDIA ETIQUETTE MANNERS
- Closed captioning
- United States
- Run time
Subject: Keeping the myth alive
Reinforcing this myth of "dirty" pigs is not only inaccurate but it allows humans to do all sorts of horrible things to this very "low" animal. Given the way we breed, house, raise and slaughter them it is actually humans who are the gluttonous ones.
Subject: Intended Audience
That said, as the other reviewer mentioned, this is clearly a case of grand ideas with too little budget. If this short had a budget or crew attached with a major studio, this would've been a minor lost classic, as the pacing and design evoke the time very well. As it stands now, it seems more like the reading of a picture book; well illustrated but a bit static. (Listen for the page turn of the narrator halfway through the film.) The designs, especially Johnny's transformation into a pig, are very cute.
As for the ideas, it seems like a cross between "Appreciating Our Parents" and "Soapy The Germ Fighter"-- to be a nice and polite little boy, you have to be neat and tighty and doing so doesn't make you a "sissy." As with "Soapy," the example here is cadets at West Point being regimented and polite but definately not weak.
Subject: Someone's budget ran out...
"Johnny Learns His Manners" was remade in 1968 by Milton Salzberg Productions with extremely limited animation and NASA stock footage replacing the West Point stock footage.
Hugh Harman Productions was also responsible for the clever and fondly-remembered dental hygiene cartoon "Winky The Watchman", likewise made around this time. I have no doubts that this would have been better, though...
Oh, and Johnny's mom is HOT!
Subject: Hog Wild!